Lion's Honey: The Myth of Samson

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Canongate U.S., Dec 1, 2007 - Fiction - 168 pages
A new literary take on the biblical story of Samson, by the prize-winning author of A Horse Walks into a Bar: “Original and very clever” (The Times, London).
From one of Israel’s most lauded contemporary writers, this book retells the myth of Samson—one of the most tempestuous, charismatic, and colorful characters in the Hebrew Bible.
Few other Bible stories feature as much drama and action, narrative fireworks and raw emotion: the battle with the lion; the three hundred burning foxes; the women he bedded and the one woman that he loved; his betrayal by all the women in his life, from his mother to Delilah; and, in the end, his murderous suicide, when he brought the house down on himself and three thousand Philistines.
This is a remarkable portrait of, in the words of the author, a “lonely and turbulent soul who never found, anywhere, a true home in the world, whose very body was a harsh place of exile.”
“A nice deconstruction of one of the juiciest stories in a work full of racy stuff: the Bible.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Polaris- - LibraryThing

This was a book I wasn't entirely sure whether I'd enjoy it or not. In the end I did. I read it in two or three extremely separated sittings, and that probably added to my overall experience of it as ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - vguy - LibraryThing

Ironically, made me glad to find there are some books I don't enjoy. Minute textual analysis of the Samson tale in the OT. Quotes from many Talmudic scholars; indeed reads rather like one. seems to be ... Read full review


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Page xxii - And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock. And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him : and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
Page xviii - And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments: but if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments.
Page xi - And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, "Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
Page xi - And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served not him.
Page xxv - Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him : and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver. And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.
Page xi - Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible...
Page xviii - Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.
Page xxvi - And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
Page xxix - And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
Page xvi - And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

About the author (2007)

David Grossman is a leading Israeli writer whose work has been translated into 25 languages. He is the author of six internationally acclaimed novels and a number of children’s books. Grossman has been presented with numerous awards including the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres (France). He lives with his wife and children in a suburb of Jerusalem.

Stuart Schoffman is an Associate Editor and columnist for the Jerusalem Report. A graduate of Harvard and Yale, he has worked for Time and Fortune and as a Hollywood screenwriter; he has taught history and film in the US and Israel and serves as the Koppelman Scholar-in-Residence of the Anti-Defamation League.

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